The Proudest Blue — A Review

Assalamu aleikum,

the proudest blue 1

Summary : With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab–a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.

Authors : Ibtihaj Muhammad & S.K.Ali

Illustrator : Hatem Aly

Publisher: Little, Brown Books

Review and thoughts : The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family is a lyrical account of a kind-hearted black Muslim character called Faizah about her older sister’s hijab on the first day of school. Her older sister’s name is Asiya.

Faizah and Asiya are the actual names of Ibtihaj’s sisters. I briefly met the author during eid prayer while visiting my family a couple years ago in New Jersey.

Asiya, her real sister, was actually very friendly to me. Therefore, I like the protagonist in the book because she is based on a real character, alhamdullilah. That day, my son was wearing a blue outfit from head to toes, too. Masha’Allah. After I read it, he picked up the book and mock-read it himself. On the inside flap of the back cover, he spotted his first name in the last names of one of the authors. That puzzled him, and he wondered how his name got on a book. He asked me if I put it there, and I told him, “No.” Hehe. Alhamdullilah.

To continue, The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family shows the unbreakable spirit of a young girl in the face of bullying. She quickly remembers the strong and powerful words of her mom to help her carry on, head high:

 Don’t carry around the hurtful words that others say. Drop them. They are not yours to keep. They belong to those who said them.

Easily said than done perhaps, but they carry a lot of truth. Some days, it will be easier to overlook the abuse, and other days, it won’t be so easy for sure because of the whispers. But, we must remain steadfast and do us and hope that one day they see the truth. If they don’t see it, oh well, that’s not our problem. It’s theirs.

Furthermore, Hatem Aly’s illustrations are consistent with his previous works I have had the chance to review or read. Plus, I love blue. It’s a color of order, authority and self-respect. Masha’Allah.

Above all, The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family is an empowering read to add to the bookshelf of the Mumeenas you’re raising in your respective homes. It could also help with cultural sensitivity awareness tailored to non-Muslims so that they may not fear the hijab. Or at least, so they may respect other people’s differences. 

Rating : 4/5

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

 

 

Eid Breakfast at Abuela’s — A Review

Eid Abuelas Launch Poster

Summary: Join Sofia, her mom and dad who spend Eid – the Islamic holiday celebrating the end of Ramadan – with her Mexican grandmother, who is not Muslim but chooses to throw them a festive breakfast which includes traditional Mexican food, decorations, and activities. The book includes many Spanish words and a glossary as well to introduce the reader to simple words in Spanish and even Arabic.

Author: Mariam Saad was raised in Southern California by Egyptian parents. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton. She worked at the family business for many years, with schools locally, and taught 8th Grade English abroad. With the birth of her son, her time and energy were focused at home while she surrounded him with reading materials and developmental toys. Before getting a taste for his board books, her son had taken interest in listening to her voice while he admired the images and felt the textures on the pages. This was the start of her inspiration in entering the world of children through story telling and lesson teaching.

Illustrator: Chaymaa Sobhy is a children’s book illustrator based in Cairo, Egypt.
www.linktr.ee/chaymaadraws
Instagram: @chaymaadraws

Publisher: Prolance

Review: Eid Breakfast at Abuela’s is a very cute story that reflects the diversity of the United States. Though, Grandma is Mexican and not Muslim, there are many Spanish speaking Muslim families who will see value in this book as their families are somewhat reflected in the book with the language. Religion tolerance is also portrayed in this book as well. Little Sofia who is cute as a button speaks Arabic, English and Spanish; therefore, she is tri-lingual. The illustrations are also evocative and the texts are simple. While the book centers around eid al-Fitr, it can be a very good read for eid al-Adha since both holidays deal with huge breakfasts in Muslim households. Get it here at the Publisher’s site.

Rating : 4.5/5

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

I received a free eCopy for my honest feedback.  Check out the Sneak Peek Page below!

Sneak Page eid at abuela

The Candle and The Flame — An Interview with the Author

Between Sisters, SVP!

Nafiza the candle and the flame

Nafiza Azad is an avid reader and reviewer of YA books. Today she is at our bookstore to discuss her debut YA high fantasy novel The Candle and the Flame. To give you a little background on this book, please read the summary below.

Azad’s debut YA fantasy is set in a city along the Silk Road that is a refuge for those of all faiths, where a young woman is threatened by the war between two clans of powerful djinn.

Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population — except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is…

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Yaseen’s Big Dream — A Review

New Release! Book Launch and Blog Tour

Summary: Yaseen has got some big dreams. He dreams of helping his family, his friends, and his community. But is it really possible for a kid like Yaseen to do all of those things? Of course it is! Read Yaseen’s Big Dream to follow him on an adventure unlike any other.

 

Author: Umm Juwayriyah

Illustrator: Azra Momin

Formatted by: Reyhana Ismail

Publisher: Djarabi Kitabs Publishing

 

Review: The first thing that crossed my mind after I read the already illustrated and designed Yaseen’s Big Dream by Umm Juwayriyah was, “Yaseen’s Big Dream is a book that will inspire the Muslim Youth.” This is because Yaseen is an inspirational character who is loved, cherished and raised to believe that he can reach beyond the stars! He motivates and entertains the reader with his strong wills.

Additionally, he loves his family and they love him back, he stays busy with extra-curricular activities, he dreams big, has an intact fitra and much, much, much more. Not only will Yaseen inspire the readers, he will push for them to do more for their communities. Though the text is a bit complex for my son’s age, we read it several times. My toddler is at a point of time where he attempts to recap stories to me to show me his storytelling skills alhamdullilah. And that what’s he did with this book. He firmly declared that that he was a boy and that he was Yaseen. Masha’Allah alhamdullilah.

Umm Juwayriyah’s writing style usually respects the protagonist’s voice. Therefore, if the protagonist naturally and culturally speaks informally or formally, the dialogue and mind of the protagonist will show this. On the other hand, if the protagonist is too young to know sentences’ syntax or treat adults a certain way, she portrays this as well. I appreciate her efforts to make her characters real.

Above all, Yaseen’s Big Dream by Umm Juwayriyah is a definite recommended and empowering read for children around the world and especially in minority areas so that they may realize that when things look bleak for them, they have to BELIEVE that they can do anything they put their mind to. In other words, they can decide to be happy and make the change they (and we all) want to see!

 

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

Phonic Time!

Assalamu aleikum bloggers!

islamic reader

So the kiddo is quite chatty these days alhamdullilah. I taught a small human being how to speak English! Yay, me. I know, it’s giving me a little of a big head I must admit. Anyway, it’s time for phonics which of course he doesn’t care much for. He throws any letters at me that he has heard from alphabet songs…laughs.

The Islamic reader depicted above is the one we are using. You can get it on amazon or here along with other Muslim homeschooling tools.

Hoping y’all are staying warm! Thank you for reading,

~ A Duckrinor Mom ~

Reading Journal by Shoohada Khanom – A Review

READING JOURNAL 1

Summary: An easy-to-use journal to keep track of reading. With 115 pages to make note of books being read, there’s space to write the date, title, author, number of pages, and new words. 5 bonus pages are featured at the back to write a list of books to read. Suitable for all ages.

About the Author’s Name: Shoohada Khanom was born and raised in London. She is a writer and a children’s books author Shoohada Khanom who has authored and traditionally published four children’s pictures books. Today a mother of six, Shoohada lives a busy life, splitting her days between home educating her children and her motherly responsibilities. She shares her home in Bolton with her family, and anytime she has a moment to herself, she reads and writes. Visit her website.

Illustrator’s Name: Reyhana Ismail is a graphic designer specializing in book and magazine design, including children’s book illustration. She has been designing since 2001, working both freelance and as an employee and consultant for various companies.  Using high quality, beautiful imagery as her foundation, Reyhana’s minimal style reflects her belief that when it comes to design, less is more. She is also a firm believer that if you love what you do, it will reflect in your work – and in this regard she is one of those rare people who has successfully combined her career and passion. Visit her website.

Review: I have always wanted a neat reading journal a little more private than Goodreads and receiving one from Shoohada Khanom to review was just perfect. It’s very creative and cute. I love the cover too; especially the two girls at the bottom, masha’Allah. While my son sat on my lap to take advantage of his allotted screen time, I filled the journal with children’s books on hand that we read alhamdullilah. I’m not sure if I filled it the right way but this works for us for now.

reading journal 3 1

My son suggested that we color the stacks of books; I’m still entertaining the idea of letting him pilot this reading journal alone *haha!* I can’t blame him; we are color-maniacs around here.

Anyway, if you run out of pages, you can select from many other designs with the same contents that the author also has in her repertoire. See below.

black reading journal

set of three reading journal

white cover reading journal

I plan to get the one below for myself insha’Allah. It’s befitting.

reading journal for fofkys

Merci to Shoohada Khanom from sending us a reading journal for our homeschooling activities purposes all the way from the UK!

reading journal with pumpkin latte and chocolate

Reading Journal with Over-Caffeinated Pumpkin Spice Latte and Chocolates

To close, check out these journals and Khanom’s other works on Amazon here. They are a must-have. I almost never log the books we read. This will definitely help us keep track. Who knows? Perhaps, we will know if we read thousands of books before the normal age for kindergarten like one of my friend bi’ithnillah. *winks*

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom aka The Unicorn-Alien Mommy ~

peace out alien

Library Fun and Different Foodies…

Assalamu aleikum!

children books

My son and I love to go to the library. It’s in walking distance but we drive due to the heat these days…Lazies…We know.

Today, he did the most peculiar thing or not! He picked up a book on food! He is a picky eater, and I was too. But we both love tasty foods. To back up a little, I say peculiar because my upcoming book is a cookbook! I pray it can be of use to him insha’Allah when he grows up, aameen. I also pray Ivorian students find it useful. Please make dua for us so that the book also be sadaqah juwayriyah, allahumma aameen!

children books 1

Anyway,  Eat, Leo! Eat! is a fun and smart story where Leo always hides when it’s time to eat. To make him eat, his Nonna started telling him a tale with multiple parts to it. She stops at a cliffhanger and prods the boy to eat. And he does. His hunger of stories led him to be hungry for food. What a smart grandma!

Children are the best business people you will ever meet! You always have to give them something in exchange for a good behavior until they start doing it on their own. At least my son and Leo are!

For the rest of the books we picked together, while all don’t have the best of illustrations, the creativity is on point, and the quality of the books are great.

Thank you for reading,

~A Ducktrinor Mom~

BLUE FOFKYS KITCHEN